5 Ripper Bush Camps

Each month we bring you places off the beaten track that offer relatively secluded spots for a camp away from the crowds.

1 The Basin Campground, NSW
The Basin Campground is a great family camping spot in Sydney. This is a large, open and grassy campsite in the Olney State Forest (Watagans) with access to the Wollombi Brook Creek. The campground offers sites for tents, trailers and caravans in a scenic location by the water – go fishing and kayaking. This is possibly one of the least busy spots in the area, but at peak times it can fill up so get in early. There are a number of nice swimming holes in the creek, which is great in the summertime.

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Number of sites: 10.
GPS: –33.104061, 151.230606.
Bookings: None/no fees.
Toilets: Long-drop or composting.
Pets: Allowed, with conditions.
Water availability: Non-potable water may be available. Boil first.
Campfires: Check local fire bans and rules.
Barbecues: BYO wood.
Picnic tables: Yes.
Access: This is a walk-in only campsite.

2 Wooroonook Lakes Campground, Vic
Enjoy the tranquility of the Wooroonook Lakes, located 14km west of town on the Borung Highway. With easy boat access, Wooroonook Lake is a popular campsite for fisherman. Situated on the edge of Wooroonook Lakes, the campsite has 12 powered sites and plenty of non-powered sites with showers and flushing toilets. Fires are allowed in the brake-drum fireplaces, and there are numerous picnic tables. The campsite works on an honesty box system and sites are allocated on a first in best dressed basis.

Number of sites: 12.
GPS: –36.26118, 143.19655.
Camping fees: $15 pwr; $5 non-pwrd.
Bookings: Self-serve booth at campsite.
Toilets: Flushing toilets.
Pets: Yes, with conditions.
Water: Non-potable, boil first.
Campfires: Yes, observe fire bans.
Barbecues: Electric/gas.
Swimming: Yes.
Access: Caravans in good weather.

3 Burners Beach Campground, SA
Burners Beach Campground is situated right on the edge of the beach. The site only has basic facilities, but the great views make up for it. This site is one of the better camps along this stretch of coast. These beachfront sites are on the sheltered side of the peninsula’s ‘foot’. The north-facing shores catch the sun all year round and are home to some of the region’s most popular holiday settlements. There are a few options to pick a spot – up the beach near the toilets, or if you are self-contained or like the solitude you can find a spot further up. Fires are permitted when restrictions aren’t in place. There is no water or phone reception here and no shade – so in summer make sure you have an awning up. You can launch a small tinny here from the natural boat ramp (mostly just pebbles and mud) and so it’s a popular campsite with fishermen, due to the easy boat launching access.


Number of sites: 50.
GPS: –34.897612, 137.252498.
Camping fees: $10/s/n. $35/s/w.
How to book: Check local stores or with council offices.
Toilets: Long-drop or composting.
Pets: Allowed, with conditions.
Water: No.
Campfires: Check local fire bans and rules.
Barbecues: BYO wood.
Access: Caravans in good weather.

4 Lake Poorrarecup Campground, WA
Lake Poorrarecup is the largest lake in the Shire of Cranbrook and is popular for swimming and skiing during the summer months. This free campsite is managed by Cranbrook Shire and located right on the edge of a large lake near Frankland River. Ensure you camp only in designated areas. The lake is very salty and when the water levels are high enough it becomes a haven for water skiers. Near the campsites there are only composting toilets, but you can find flushing toilets at the day-use area. Please note that camping and cooking fires are prohibited within the Shire of Cranbrook from October 1 to April 30 each year, or unless written permission has been expressly given. From Frankland, turn south on Lake Poorrarecup Road and travel for 9km, before you take a track for 200m west to the picnic area itself.

Number of sites: 10.
GPS: –34.418116, 117.2373.
Camping fees: Free.
Bookings: None taken
Toilets: Long-drop or composting.
Pets: No.
Water availability: Non-potable, boil first.
Barbecues: No barbecues are provided.
Fishing: Not permitted.
Access: This campsite is accessible with regular 2WD vehicles.

5 Trephina Gorge, NT
Trephina Gorge, in the East MacDonnell Ranges, about 70 kilometres east of Alice Springs, is a large campground in an attractive bushland setting among stunning orange hills. There is an honesty box system so make sure you pop your money in to help keep the site pristine. The campsite has basic facilities with a pit toilet, fireplaces and free gas barbecues and picnic tables. There are water taps throughout the campground. Trephina Gorge is one of the four campsites inside the nature park of the same name and a good place to use as a base for exploring the East MacDonnells. It offers 24 defined sites for camping. The park is noted for its sheer quartzite cliffs and river red gum lined watercourses. There are two gorges that dissect the range: Trephina, with its wide views and sandy creek bed; and John Hayes Rockhole with steep, narrow rock walls. The park is accessible to all vehicles.

GPS: –23.521692, 134.397058.
Camping fee per night: Adult $3.30, Child (5-15 years) $1.65, Family (2 adults, 4 children) $7.70.
Camping fees are payable on-site (cash only).
Facilities: Pit toilets, picnic tables, drinking water, communal fire pits and gas barbecues.




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